Tokyo-based Dentsu, one of the biggest advertising agencies in the world, today announced [JP, PDF] it has acquired 15.06% of Kakaku.com, Japan’s largest price comparison site and community (all Kakaku-related articles on Asiajin, my very early review of the site from 2007).
The eponymous company behind the service is currently listed at the Tokyo Stock Exchange with a US$1.6 billion market cap. Culture Convenience Club (CCC) , the operator of the Tsutaya DVD and CD store chain, is the main shareholder.
While the price comparison site is still the core asset (after almost 15 years in business), kakaku.com rolled out a number of other web services in the last few years that now Dentsu has a foot in, i.e. movie portal eiga.com, 4travel, or hotel reservation service yoyaQ.com.
The biggest hit Kakaku.com landed after establishing online price comparison in Japan is tabelog, a wildly popular restaurant guide that is similar to Yelp in the US. Last month, tabelog alone saw 712 million page views (kakaku.com: 877 million).
All sites of the group racked up a combined 1.7 billion page views in the same time frame, coming from 77 million unique users – and this reach is exactly what Dentsu is after.
Kakaku.com’s stats can be accessed here [PDF].